Fantasy Football 2013: Vernon Davis and Veterans Poised to Break Out

Jesse Reed@@JesseReed78Correspondent IJuly 30, 2013

September 16, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis (85) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Detroit Lions in the fourth quarter at Candlestick Park. The 49ers defeated the Lions 27-19. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Vernon Davis disappointed fantasy football owners last year, but he's ready to explode with a monster season for the San Francisco 49ers.

Davis isn't the only legitimate veteran star who will break out in a big way this season either. 

A new season oftentimes offers new circumstances, which is certainly the case for the following players. After suffering through a season full of frustration, they have been given a new chance to shine in 2013. 


Vernon Davis, Tight End, San Francisco 49ers

Did you know that Davis only caught six passes in San Francisco's final six games last year?

When Colin Kaepernick took over the 49ers offense midseason, he and Davis struggled to develop chemistry while Michael Crabtree became the primary target in the passing game. At one point, Davis diplomatically voiced his frustration, as noted by Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee:

That's something [chemistry] me and Kap don't have right now...I think he's just kind of scared on my speed a little bit. He doesn't really know it. We don't have that timing. It'll come. Just like any quarterback and any wide receiver. It takes time.

By the time the playoffs rolled around, however, it was increasingly apparent that Kaepernick and Davis were developing a rapport, as the tight end hauled in 12 passes for 254 yards and one touchdown in the team's three postseason contests. 

Early reports from 49ers camp indicate that Kaepernick and Davis are continuing to build that rapport, as noted by Barrows, and Kurt Warner expects the duo to stretch the field in 2013, as noted by NFL Network:

Davis is going to have a huge season for the 49ers.

Kaepernick possesses the arm strength and accuracy to get him the ball in tight spots, and as the two of them continue to grow together, Davis will become a fantasy football star. 


Larry Fitzgerald, Wide Receiver, Arizona Cardinals

Perhaps no star endured more disappointment last year than Fitzgerald.

After averaging 91 receptions, 1,262 yards and nine touchdowns per season from 2005-2011, Fitzgerald's production fell off a cliff in 2013. 

Arizona's offense ranked dead last in total offense and rushing offense last season and went through four different starting quarterbacks who were sacked a total of 58 times, which was also dead last in the league. 

As a result, Fitzgerald caught just 71 passes for 798 yards and just four touchdowns. Furthermore, as noted by Pro Football Focus, his quarterbacks were especially atrocious when trying to get him the ball:

This is an All-Pro receiver we're talking about here, and he's due for a huge bounce-back season. 

Head coach Bruce Arians is the man who helped the Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts explode on offense last season, and he helped Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers win a Super Bowl in 2008.

His vertical, attacking style of offense is perfectly suited for new quarterback Carson Palmer, who will help Fitzgerald get back to his preseason averages of 90-plus catches for 1,200-plus yards and nine touchdowns.

The two of them are starting to get on the same page at camp, as shown here by John McKelvey:

The Cardinals will be much more effective on offense this year, and Fitzgerald will make fantasy football owners happy once again. 


LeSean McCoy, Running Back, Philadelphia Eagles

"Shady" McCoy was seemingly a forgotten man for the Eagles last season in Andy Reid's final year at the helm.  This was partly due to the fact that the running back suffered a concussion and missed four games, but even when he was healthy, the Eagles didn't utilize him properly. 

After two straight 1,000-plus yard seasons and after scoring 17 rushing touchdowns in 2011, McCoy carried the ball less than 17 times per game and scored just two rushing touchdowns last season.

Meanwhile, Michael Vick and Nick Foles attempted over 38 passes per contest and the Eagles went 4-12—a direct correlation, methinks.

Now that new head coach Chip Kelly is running the show in Philly, however, you can expect McCoy's production to ramp up to the same level we saw from him in 2011. During his tenure at Oregon, Kelly called plays for one of the most dominant running offenses in the nation.

McCoy has embraced Kelly's leadership, and he's not satisfied with being a Pro-Bowl running back this year, as noted by Geoff Mosher of

In addition to Kelly's run-first mentality, the team's offensive line should be dominant this year. With rookie Lane Johnson, All-Pro Jason Peters and Evan Mathis dictating the action up front, McCoy should have plenty of opportunities to romp for huge gains.

McCoy is a borderline RB1 this year, and if you happen to land him as your second running back, chances are you're going to be thrilled with your team. 


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